Philadelphia Eagles WR Kevin Curtis sidelined

by Tim Piotrowski on August 20, 2008 @ 09:52:12 PDT


Andy Schwartz, of, reports Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis (sports hernia) will undergo sports hernia surgery Thursday, Aug. 21. Head coach Andy Reid did not give a timetable for Curtis' return, but Reid did say Curtis will be out for a while. The injury occurred during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 14.

Curtis had been trying to work through the injury during practice but Reid said he was not having much success, so the decision for surgery was made. Reid first said he was sore after the game but could not work through it during practice.

Curtis was a free-agent signing during the offseason last year and made a big impact during his first season with the Eagles. He recorded 77 receptions for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 14.4 yards per catch. However, he was a bit inconsistent at times during the season. He went over the 100-yard mark three times, including a terrific 221-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 3. He also logged four games with fewer than 30 yards receiving and ran into a dry spell with his touchdowns near the end of the season. He caught only three touchdowns in his last 13 games.

The Eagles have become very familiar with sports hernias over the part few years. Quarterback Donovan McNabb missed the final seven games in 2005, while tight end L.J. Smith had the surgery last offseason and missed several games.

From a fantasy perspective, this definitely hurts owners who have already drafted because Curtis could miss up to two months because of the injury. Curtis owners should stash him on their bench and be patience. Curtis should be drafted as a weak No. 4 fantasy football option, at best, right now. You may even be able to snag him as a No. 5, and we expect him to miss roughly four weeks of the season. Given his style of play as a burner, this is a tricky injury that could resurface down the stretch if he rushes back to action too soon.

Wide receivers Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis will now rotate at the starting spot opposite wide receiver Reggie Brown (hamstring). It remains uncertain if the Baskett and Lewis will be interchangeable or are battling for the position. Either way, wideout Jason Avant would remain in the slot role.

Baskett had a decent season last year. He had 16 receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown in 16 games. There were seven games were he did not have a catch and his season high in yards was 33. He could have a slight advantage over Lewis, at least near the goal line, because he is 6-foot-4 and Lewis is only 6-foot.

Lewis was fairly productive last season when you consider his role. He caught 13 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 20.4 yards per catch, in 15 games. He was held without a catch in eight games last season but made four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns against the New England Patriots last season.

Since Reid has not declared either of them the starter, neither should be picked up unless an owner in a very deep league needs a wide receiver. As of now, both should be watched on the waiver wire and would be valuable if one gets named the starter of the other. One thing going against them will be that the Eagles offense has several talented skilled players. Furthermore, the system promotes spreading the ball around amongst the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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